Beware of the Revisionists

Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor.


April 7 marks Yom Ha’shoah, a day marked by solemn remembrances for those who perished in the Holocaust. It is also the 46th anniversary of a more obscure incident that many analysts view as the precursor to one of the most astonishing victories of modern military history. On April 7, 1967 Israeli Mirages and Syria Mig-21s dueled over the skies of Syria and northern Israel and six Migs were downed for no Israeli losses. Like the current day situation in Gaza, where Islamist rocket fire on civilian areas inexorably draws Israeli counter fire, Syrian artillery fire on Israeli villages precipitated the aerial engagement. And like the Gazan Islamists of today, the Syrians cried foul after being bloodied by the Israelis.

Following the clash, heated Arab rhetoric and false Soviet intelligence reports of Israeli military deployments led to a series of aggressive actions by Egypt and her Arab allies that ultimately culminated in the Six-Day War. On May 15 and with much fanfare and publicity, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt deployed two Egyptian divisions in Sinai. On May 16, he ordered U.N. peacekeeping forces, who had hitherto served as a buffer between Israeli and Egyptian forces, out of Sinai. On May 19, Egyptian troop strength swelled to six divisions, with a seventh added soon after. On May 22, Nasser ordered the closure of the Straits of Tiran at the entrance to the Gulf of Eilat, to Israeli shipping. The closure was a gross violation of international maritime law and constituted a casus belli. On May 30th Jordan and Egypt established a joint military command and Jordan placed its armed forces under Egyptian control. Soon after, Egyptian paratroop battalions landed in Jordan and on June 3, they were joined by Iraqi contingents. On June 2, an Egyptian mortar attack set Israeli wheat fields on fire and Egyptian aerial incursions into Israeli territory were occurring with alarming frequency.

Israel was surrounded with countries bent on its annihilation. The Arab street, fed by blood-curdling, anti-Semitic government propaganda, was whipped into frenzy and an orgy of hate and depravity swept through the Arab world. It was clear that the Arabs had foreclosed any possibility of peaceful coexistence with Israel. If there were any doubts about Arab intentions, Radio Cairo dispelled them on May 22 when it declared, “The Arab people is firmly resolved to wipe Israel off the map.”  Israel for its part attempted to quell Arab aggression through diplomatic means but to no avail. The Soviets were actively stoking the flames of war while France, wishing to curry favor with the Arabs, turned its back. The British and Americans offered sympathy and little else.

Thus Israel, with its back to the wall and faced with overt threats of annihilation, acted decisively. On June 5, 1967 the outnumbered and out gunned Israeli Defense Forces launched a preemptive strike and within six days, destroyed the armies of those sworn to her destruction. Two and a half million Israelis faced off against one-hundred and ten million Arabs and won decidedly.

The facts were indisputable. Israel acted in self-defense and the aggressor Arab nations were forced to scurry with their tails between their legs. Even the traditionally hostile United Nations, which had condemned past Israeli defensive actions in knee-jerking fashion, refused to condemn her this time. In fact, Resolution 242, passed by the UN Security Council following the war, gave implicit recognition to Israeli territorial conquests and affirmed Israel’s right to safe and secure boundaries.

But time or rather its passage serves to dampen memories and opens the door to creative and rather obscene narratives that serve to obfuscate and perpetuate falsehoods. History is replete with such examples. Truman’s decision to drop atom bombs on Japan was rightfully heralded at the time as a courageous decision that saved the lives of hundreds of thousands and served to end a war imposed on us by an aggressor nation. But today, the decision is questioned by nefarious elements who offer all sorts vile conspiracy theories as reasons for Truman’s actions. The Holocaust, which claimed the lives of six-million, is today routinely challenged by Islamist heads of state with banal regularity. Even the so-called moderates, such as Palestinian Authority chieftain Mahmaoud Abbas, have issued denials of the genocide claiming that that it was a “fantastic lie,” that gas chambers were never used to kill Jews and that no more that “890,000” Jews perished.

In similar vain, Arab “scholars” and some of their useful idiot allies in the West, such as Tom Segev, have been on a crusade to present a fallacious view of the events preceding the Six-Day War. They do so by inventing facts, providing out of context statements and conflating statements that result in the presentation a skewed narrative. The stakes concerning which side was the aggressor and apportionment of blame are highly consequential. The aggressor loses the moral and legal high ground and thus loses whatever benefit it derived from the war, including territorial conquest.

Those who present the false Arab narrative are thankfully still a marginal lot, regulated to spewing their hate on fringe outlets such as Press TV and Counterpunch. But lies if repeated often enough have an insidious way of infiltrating mainstream discourse and the ill informed are most susceptible.

Michael Oren, considered the preeminent authority on the Six-Day War had harsh words for the revisionists and noted that the Arabs – Jordan, Egypt and Syria – “had planned the conquest of Israel and the expulsion or murder of much of it Jewish inhabitants in 1967. Many of the so-called ‘revisionist historians’ today are claiming that the Arabs never had aggressive intentions toward the Jewish state and that Israel precipitated the Six-Day War in order to expand territorially. The documentary evidence refutes this claim unequivocally.”

We must therefore never forget who the aggressor was in the Six-Day War, that the ramifications of an Israeli loss would have been calamitous on par with the Holocaust and that the Arabs have only themselves to blame for their sorry predicament.

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  • Poupic

    What do you expect? Arab states always say black when it is white when it comes to Israel. There was never a day when Arab states did not dream of destroying Israel. “The Palestinians” were invented in the 60’s for this express purpose only. This is also why they are not absorbed by their brothers to this day.
    Golda’s truism still stands: “If Arab states put down their guns there will be peace. If Isrel puts down it’s guns there will be no Israel.” 1967 was only a paroxysm of the Arab attitude toward Israel.

  • http://www.adinakutnicki.com AdinaK

    What is being discussed within falls under the purview of "historicism", and its attendant blow back. But make no mistake, its tentacles would not take root, if leftist academics (in America, Israel and the rest of the west) weren't in the forefront. Of course, political poohbahs, via their media denizens, are deeply in the fray.

    Here are some proofs: http://adinakutnicki.com/2012/08/21/the-paradox-p

    Once again, pearls of wisdom from my associate, Professor Paul Eidelberg – http://adinakutnicki.com/2013/01/22/the-moral-dec

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/

  • AnOrdinaryMan

    I haven't read "1967;" didn't know it had come out. But from the review, it sounds pretty bad; with the red herring arguments about Israel's economy, and the like. There's only one interpretation of the six-day war; that Israel was in a necessary war, defending itself from those who would destroy her. However, Segev is capable of better. I have read "One Palestine Complete," that's fairly close to an objective assessment of the British Mandate period. And it's got a nice pic on the cover; Allenby marching into the Old City, with his officers and men behind him.

  • Softly Bob

    Revisionist history is particularly more dangerous today than it has ever been, because we have access to more information than at any other time in history, so if you fall for the lies now then you have no excuse!

    Let's put it this way, today's generation believe that they are smarter than any other generation that has lived before them. It's easy to mock the Germans who fell for Hitler's lies in the 1920s and 1930s, after all they were less educated, and they didn't have Google!
    It's this sense of false security that makes many people (especially young Leftists) think that they can't fall for any lies. They are surrounded by historical facts but are too lazy to look for them. They are like children in a candy store, spoilt for choice, so they eventually stop bothering. Feed them a lie, and so long as it fits in with their political beliefs, they'll swallow it. They don't search for other truths.
    If their Leftist professor tells them something then they believe it, after all nobody could possibly get away with fooling anyone in this day and age could they?

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Softly Bob AKBAR!

  • marios

    Islamists=fascists=progressists=leftists are all use Goebbels' s BIG LIE as their very important weapon.
    Israel instead to be in fact a victim of Islamic/Arabs state aggression was depicted as vicious aggressor itself. Germany's 1930s-1940s MSM made possible Hitler law rank military with non of achievement seized Power being elected by democratic way there. NONE of those Journalists were on the bench of war criminals among others in the Nuremberg process. MSM controlled by socialists is still do the same even in our own country. MSM supporting Hitler is responsible for Holocaust and nowadays MSM support now impeding Holocaust as well. Israel destiny is USA destiny and even all Western civilization destiny. Useful corrupted idiots don't understand it.

  • Brujo Blanco

    There are recisiinists all over. In.fact I read an article.claiming that the Russians saved the world from nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The left will blame.all that they can on.the Jews.

  • watsa46

    Nothing has changed in 3 or 4,000 years.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    There is no limit to the lies the left and Arab money can propigate through thier tools,
    MSM stooges with Democrats willing to support and American Jews devoted to leftism
    rather than thier own coreligionists. It is a sad state of affairs in America and the World
    where history becomes a pile of lies from people paid to do so. I lived through this time
    and knew that Israel was surrounded by militant advisaries who wanted thier destruction,
    to the point of looking for a way to get to Israel as a military volunteer but it was over so
    fast, before I could get a ticket. NYC Jews were totally in support of Israel and I wonder
    what has happened, who the forked tongue belongs to that has spread more lies than
    seems humanly possible, maybe it is from non-human powers. Israel is in the right and
    the Islamists are totaly wrong and the war is as ongoing as is time…………William

  • JacksonPearson

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” –Joseph Goebbels, German Propagandist

    • American Patriot

      Goebbels would have felt quite at home with today's Islamists

      • JacksonPearson

        They're using his play book…and some!

  • Trevor B

    ” Resolution 242, passed by the UN Security Council following the war, gave implicit recognition to Israeli territorial conquests and affirmed Israel’s right to safe and secure boundaries.”

    Erm, no it did not.

    From the preamble of UNSC resolution 242,

    ” The Security Council,

    Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,

    Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,”

    And,

    “Knowing as I did the unsatisfactory nature of the 1967 line I was not prepared to use wording in the Resolution which would have made that line permanent. Nevertheless it is necessary to say again that the overriding principle was the “inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and that meant that there could be no justification for annexation of territory on the Arab side of the 1967 line merely because it had been conquered in the 1967 war.”

    “Beware of the Revisionists” Indeed, Ari, and you are one of the “Revisionists”